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Film
Richard A. Blake
Had I been writing this column 80 years ago, I would probably have lined up with those critics vigorously opposed to the talkies. “Who needs sound?” we might have argued. By the mid-1920’s film had developed into an incredibly sophisticated visual medium. The Russians had mastered
Film
Richard A. Blake
Two ladies of a certain age sitting behind me gasped during the opening sequence. The young hero Adam Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) first appears on screen walking toward the camera as his voice-over explains in spectacularly scabrous terms his bewilderment with the universe. Those of us who deal on
Film
Richard A. Blake
The worm turns. Last spring the religious right made such a fuss about the polychrome piosities of Mel Gibson that even card-carrying atheists had to line up to see what all the buzz was about. Every action has its reaction, so now the sanctimonious left has created an even greater fuss about Michae
Film
Richard A. Blake
Reality leaves a great deal to be desired. Reading the morning paper feels like an ongoing suicide pact with the universe, and listening to NPR without several doses of Prozac in hand can threaten one’s tenuous grasp on sanity: Iraq, terrorism, environment, fundamentalism, economy, abuse, AIDS
Film
Richard A. Blake
Why am I writing this? More to the point, why are you reading it? The answer is simple. Everybody has to say something about it, and many of you feel you have to see it. Even before seeing the film—and making it clear that I had not yet seen it—I was badgered into making statements on it
Film
Richard A. Blake
Cold Mountain adds significance to its shopworn narrative with several brilliant scenes that have only marginal relationship to the story line. That is not an altogether damning comment. Jean Renoir, the great French director, once expressed his admiration for American Westerns: “They’re